If I had $20,000 and six months of my time to donate, I would choose to give my time and money to a military family support group. In my community we have a group called the Union County Military Family Support Group. This is a non-profit group that is comprised of local members who donate money, time and resources to reach out to our local troops and their families. Whether the soldier is stateside or overseas, the group sends care packages to them on every holiday. The shipping of the boxes is the greatest expense and the group is self supported. They often go to local grocery stores and hold drives to collect items to be packed in the boxes to send to the troops. It’s a small gesture, but it lets those fighting for our freedoms know that we have not forgotten about them and that we stand behind them no matter what. This need is especially close to my heart because my brother is one of those who are on the receiving end. He spent 18 months in Iraq and sending care packages became one of the few ways we could contact him to remind him that we still cared. Sometimes it would be months before he would get back to a base to get his mail, but he still appreciated it and when he finally came how he told us how much it meant to him that someone was thinking of him. A donation of $20,000 would ensure that the soldiers would continue to receive packages, even in the rough economy. Aside from just sending packages the group also helps those families that are struggling with the loss of a soldier. They work as a family and reach out to fellow members and families. The members know exactly what the other families are going through and are able to offer assistance to them. I think it is very important for civilians to recognize the efforts of the military and realize that they are the reason we are able to keep all of our freedoms. The mission statement of the group pretty much sums up the group's efforts: Identify and network with military families in Union County, express support and provide for their special needs, facilitate community support and recognition for the military members and their families.